Superb Civil War M1863 Sharps carbine, custom finished! 10th Illinois Cavalry, “Lincoln’s Own”

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If you ever wanted to know what a Sharps carbine looked like in 1863 when it came out of the shipping crate, you’re in for a treat and then some!  This beauty had to be really nice in the early 1950s when a family member sent it to a custom gunsmith to restore—and what a job somebody did.  The only replaced hardware is the rear sight which is from the 1950s era.  The bore is superb and the grain of the wood, incredible.  By family story, the weapon was sent from Versailles, Illinois to be refinished in Chicago by a descendant of John Ausmus who served in the unit from the beginning of the War to the end.  The weapon was said to have been handed down by his widow, Vina, who shows in records as having applied for a pension in 1915.


This weapon, based on data in the Springfield Research Service database, was in the range of weapons shipped to the 10th Illinois Cavalry.

The 10th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, known informally as “Lincoln’s Own”, was a cavalry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The 10th Illinois Cavalry was mustered in for 3 years’ service at Camp Butler, Illinois on November 25, 1861. In January 1862, the regiment moved to Quincy, Illinois, where they underwent additional training.


In December 1862, the unit saw its first major action, outside Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Some member battalions of the 10th aided with the taking of Little Rock and Arkansas Post the following summer.


Members of the regiment were required to obtain their own mounts, which were owned by the individual members until 1864, when the government bought them from the men.


The personnel of the 10th Regiment were reorganized into nine companies in January 1865, and consolidated with the 15th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (which had reorganized into three companies).


The 10th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Cavalry (Consolidated) mustered out on November 22, 1865, with members receiving their final pay and discharge on January 6, 1866, at Camp Butler. The regiment was equipped with six two-pound howitzers upon its arrival in Springfield, Missouri in April 1862, after which the regiment was almost constantly on duty. The 10th Illinois was made part of the Army of the Frontier and was stationed at Wilson Creek, Missouri.


During the war, the regiment lost one officer and 24 enlisted men in combat. Three officers and 262 enlisted men died of disease, for a total of 290 fatalities over the course of the war.

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